not push for new leadership if he’s elected to a sixth term in Congress.
“No one’s perfect,” the Marietta Republican said during a political forum hosted by the Bartow County GOP on Thursday.
“There are days I’d like to wring John Boehner’s neck and there are days he’d like to wring my neck. … (but) He’s a good guy. He’s likeable. If he’s got a fault, it’s that he tries too hard to be likeable.”
Gingrey is facing two challengers in the Republican primary election for the 11th Congressional District seat.
William Llop, a certified public accountant from Sandy Springs, and Michael Opitz, a Cobb County mediator who bills himself as “the Constitutional Conservative,” were less enthusiastic about Boehner.
Opitz said he’d like to see if there are any Republicans in the House who would take a stronger stance.
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“He may be likeable, but that’s not why he was elected,” Opitz said. “He’s let this president buffalo him.”
Llop said Boehner may just need people around him who have the expertise to address economic issues.
“I am a CPA and I understand numbers,” he told the crowd during his opening statement. “It’s time we send someone to Washington who understands math.”
Reapportionment following the 2010 census shifted the 11th District to the east, adding Cherokee and some new sections of Cobb County to its Bartow County base.
Floyd, Polk, Chattooga and other Northwest Georgia counties previously represented by Gingrey were drawn into the new 14th District, where U.S. Rep. Tom Graves of Ranger is the incumbent. Graves, a Republican, has no primary opposition.
Opitz and Llop took aim at Gingrey several times during the half-hour forum.
Llop politely corrected the veteran lawmaker on the number of czars President Obama has appointed — just 33 to George W. Bush’s 38, “but he’s on track to surpass that … and it should stop,” he concluded.
Opitz aggressively accused Gingrey of voting to raise the debt ceiling, saying his support of S.627, an earlier fiscal bill, cleared the way even if Gingrey opposed the final S. 365 Budget Control Act of 2011.
“We have to hold the people in Congress accountable,” Opitz insisted.
Gingrey objected to the characterization, saying audience members know he’s a man of his word.
“It was for cut, cap and balance,” he said, emphasizing the word ‘balance.’ “And that indeed would solve the debt issue.”
Early voting is under way for the July 31 primary election. A runoff, if necessary, will take place Aug. 21.